About

The DrPH is the terminal professional degree for individuals who intend to pursue careers in public health, evidence-based leadership and/or practice-based research. The goal of the DrPH program at ECU is to expand capacity for the advancement of public health leadership with a focus on rural, underserved and multi-cultural communities. It aims to train graduates to be transformative future leaders, teachers, innovators and researchers in public health with the ability to create and implement evidence-based public health programs.

ECU Advantage

The DrPH program at ECU consists of two concentrations: Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH), and Health Policy, Administration and Leadership.

Environmental and Occupational Health Sample Courses:

• Environmental & Occupational Exposure Assessment
• Issues and Case Studies in Occupational Medicine
• Pests and Vector borne Diseases

Health Policy, Administration and Leadership Sample Courses

• Quality Improvement and Cost Effectiveness
• Strategic Planning Theory and Practice
• Human Resources, Management & Leadership
• Health Information Systems

What You Will Study

Program Coordinators by Concentration Area:

The goal of the doctor of public health (DrPH) program is to educate leaders who can transform the health system into one that provides high quality care; reduces per capita costs of health care; improves population health; and addresses health needs of the rural, poor, underserved multicultural populations to reduce health disparities. The DrPH is a terminal degree for individuals who intend to pursue leadership careers in applied, practice-based, public health research and leadership.

The DrPH program offers two concentrations: (1) environmental and occupational health, and, (2) health policy, administration and leadership. Both concentrations have specific course content that embeds rural health throughout the plan of study. Graduates of this program will be prepared for leadership positions in government (local, state, or federal public health institutions), non-profit institutions (health advocacy or community service), or for-profit institutions (health care organizations, health research organizations, health insurance, pharmaceutical industry and health-related industries) with preparation for research and teaching in higher education.

The DrPH is a 51 s. h. to 75 s. h. program. The minimum degree requirement depends on the student's academic background. Students with an MPH from an accredited program will have taken the 24 hours of foundational courses and will have met that requirement. Those without an MPH degree or equivalent will be required to take the foundational courses before taking the doctoral level courses.

Consistent with a practice-focused degree and with public health discipline expectations, the degree will require both a practicum/field placement and a dissertation. Special consideration will be provided for those with exceptional backgrounds or unique skill sets (e.g., first degrees in medicine). The program offers flexibility for today's working professional seeking an advanced degree while at the same time, ensuring that graduates of the program demonstrate the skills needed to be transformational leaders in public health.

The basic curriculum plans for each level of experience and each concentration are as follows:

Doctor of Public Health - Environmental and Occupational Health Concentration

(51 s. h. - 75 s. h.)

    1. MPH graduate with experience in public health or related fields - 51 s. h.
      a. Interdisciplinary core - 6 s. h.
      • PUBH 8020 - Organizational Theory and Leadership
      • PUBH 8025 - Quantitative Research Methods
      b. Concentration core - 9 s. h.
      • PHAR 7680 - Toxicology
      • PUBH 7930 - Environmental and Occupational Exposure Assessment
      • PUBH 8125 - Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
      c. Specialty areas - 9 s. h.

      (Choose a specialty area.)

        Environmental:
        • PUBH 8002 - Public Health Microbiology, Water and Food Safety
        • PUBH 8004 - Public Health Pests and Vector-Borne Diseases
        • PUBH 8006 - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
        Occupational:
        • PUBH 8003 - Issues and Case Studies in Occupational Medicine
        • PUBH 8005 - Advanced Control of Occupational Hazards
        • PUBH 8007 - Advanced Industrial Hygiene Applications
      d. Electives - 6 s. h.

      (Choose two courses from below.)

      • GEOG 6340 - Advanced Medical Geography
      • PUBH 8100 - Applied Environmental and Industrial Hygiene
      • PUBH 8110 - Emerging Issues in Environmental and Occupational Health
      • PUBH 8120 - Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health Law
      • PUBH 8150 - Environmental Risk Communication
      • Approved electives from other departments
      e. Dissertation - 15 s. h.
      • PUBH 9000 - Dissertation Research
      f. Field experience - 6 s. h.
      • PUBH 8684 - Field Practicum
    2. MPH graduate with little or no experience in public health or related fields – 75 s. h.
      a. Foundation courses - 24 s. h.
      • BIOS 7021 - Biostatistics for Health Professionals I
      • MPH 6000 - Public Health Practice
      • MPH 6002 - Ethics and Law in Public Health
      • MPH 6010 - Fundamentals of Environmental Health
      • MPH 6011 - Introduction to Epidemiology
      • MPH 6013 - Behavioral Sciences and Health Education
      • MPH 6020 - Research Methods
      • MPH 6035 - Interdisciplinary Rural Health
      b. Interdisciplinary core - 6 s. h.
      • PUBH 8020 - Organizational Theory and Leadership
      • PUBH 8025 - Quantitative Research Methods
      c. Concentration core - 9 s. h.
      • PHAR 7680 - Toxicology
      • PUBH 7930 - Environmental and Occupational Exposure Assessment
      • PUBH 8125 - Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
      d. Specialty areas - 9 s. h.

      (Choose a specialty area.)

        Environmental:
        • PUBH 8002 - Public Health Microbiology, Water and Food Safety
        • PUBH 8004 - Public Health Pests and Vector-Borne Diseases
        • PUBH 8006 - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
        Occupational:
        • PUBH 8003 - Issues and Case Studies in Occupational Medicine
        • PUBH 8005 - Advanced Control of Occupational Hazards
        • PUBH 8007 - Advanced Industrial Hygiene Applications
      e. Electives - 6 s. h.

      (Choose from below courses).

      • GEOG 6340 - Advanced Medical Geography
      • PUBH 8100 - Applied Environmental and Industrial Hygiene
      • PUBH 8110 - Emerging Issues in Environmental and Occupational Health
      • PUBH 8120 - Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health Law
      • PUBH 8150 - Environmental Risk Communication
      • Approved electives from other departments
      f. Dissertation - 15 s. h.
      • PUBH 9000 - Dissertation Research
      g. Field experience - 6 s. h.
      • PUBH 8684 - Field Practicum
Doctor of Public Health - Health Policy, Administration and Leadership Concentration

(51 s. h. - 75 s. h.)

    1. MPH graduate with experience in public health or related fields - 51 s. h.
      a. Interdisciplinary core - 6 s. h.
      • PUBH 8020 - Organizational Theory and Leadership
      • PUBH 8025 - Quantitative Research Methods
      b. Concentration core - 18 s. h
      • PUBH 8130 - Strategic Planning, Theory and Practice
      • PUBH 8134 - Financial Planning and Management
      • PUBH 8240 - Human Resources Management
      • PUBH 8245 - Health Policy Analysis
      • PUBH 8350 - Qualitative Research Methods
      • PUBH 8352 - Quality Improvement and Cost Effectiveness Analysis
      c. Electives - 6 s. h.

      (Choose from the below courses.)

      • PUBH 8460 - Economic Analysis in Health Systems
      • PUBH 8463 - Health Information Systems
      • PUBH 8571 - Public Health and Aging
      • PUBH 8680 - Public Health Disaster Preparedness and Response
      • Approved electives from other departments
      d. Dissertation - 15 s. h.
      • PUBH 9000 - Dissertation Research
      e. Field experience - 6 s. h.
      • PUBH 8684 - Field Practicum
    2. MPH graduate with little or no experience in public health or related fields – 75 s. h.
      a. Foundation courses - 24 s. h.
      • BIOS 7021 - Biostatistics for Health Professionals I
      • MPH 6000 - Public Health Practice
      • MPH 6002 - Ethics and Law in Public Health
      • MPH 6010 - Fundamentals of Environmental Health
      • MPH 6011 - Introduction to Epidemiology
      • MPH 6013 - Behavioral Sciences and Health Education
      • MPH 6020 - Research Methods
      • MPH 6035 - Interdisciplinary Rural Health
      b. Interdisciplinary core - 6 s. h.
      • PUBH 8020 - Organizational Theory and Leadership
      • PUBH 8025 - Quantitative Research Methods
      c. Concentration core - 18 s. h.
      • PUBH 8130 - Strategic Planning, Theory and Practice
      • PUBH 8134 - Financial Planning and Management
      • PUBH 8240 - Human Resources Management
      • PUBH 8245 - Health Policy Analysis
      • PUBH 8350 - Qualitative Research Methods
      • PUBH 8352 - Quality Improvement and Cost Effectiveness Analysis
      d. Electives - 6 s. h.

      (Choose from the below courses.)

      • PUBH 8460 - Economic Analysis in Health Systems
      • PUBH 8463 - Health Information Systems
      • PUBH 8571 - Public Health and Aging
      • PUBH 8680 - Public Health Disaster Preparedness and Response
      • Approved electives from other departments
      e. Dissertation - 15 s. h.
      • PUBH 9000 - Dissertation Research
      f. Field experience - 6 s. h.
      • PUBH 8684 - Field Practicum
Academic Requirements

In order to remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all coursework once they have earned a total of 9 semester hours attempted.  Students who fail to meet this criteria may be placed on probation or dismissed from the program.

    Admission

    Candidates selected for admission to the doctor of public health program should have previous experience in public health practice and have successfully completed an MPH degree or graduate degree in a closely related field from an accredited program.  All applicants must complete an online application to the Graduate School and comply with ECU graduate admission requirements.

      Transfer Credits

      With the support of the graduate program director, up to one third of the credit hours in a graduate degree program may be transferred from a regionally accredited college or university. Exceptions may be made with the permission of the program director and the dean of the Graduate School, but in all cases, students must earn at least one-half of the credit hours in a graduate degree program at East Carolina University. Program directors and students should discuss transfer credit options.

        For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

        Careers With This Degree

        Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

        • Public Health (MPH)
        • Education and Training
        • Medical and Health Services Managers
        • Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary
        • Public Health (MPH)

        Career Opportunities

        ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

        NC Tower

        This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

        • Self-employed;
        • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
        • Work outside of North Carolina.

        US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

        This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

        Degree-specific internships

        For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.